Satellite internet remains one of the best options for portable internet access. This is especially true if you need to use your internet in remote areas that may not have cell service. The best portable satellite internet service is Starlink Mobile (also known as Starlink Roam).
Starlink Roam Regional and Starlink Roam Global are the two portable satellite internet plans meant for most people. The former will carry you all across the US, and the latter allows you to access the internet abroad in countries where Starlink is available.
Both Starlink Roam Regional and Global offer unlimited data, but Roam data is prioritized beneath other Starlink internet plans (like Starlink Residential). And while the speeds don’t look impressive, many users find they sometimes get above the promised range. In our own testing of Starlin Roam, we experienced speeds as high as 120Mbps and as low as 21Mbps.
Starlink Mobile Priority, meanwhile, are significantly more expensive both in monthly price and in up-front equipment costs. That’s because these plans are mostly intended for businesses. They offer the highest data priority and in-motion portable internet so people like emergency responders can stay in communication in urgent, on-the-go situations.
Overall, Starlink says its users typically experience 25–60ms latency on land, and we can corroborate that. After averaging data from our seven million speed tests from September 2022 to September 2023, we’ve found Starlink’s average national latency to be around 35ms. But keep in mind that users in more remote locations will experience higher latency—around 100+ ms in places like oceans, on islands, and in Antarctica, Alaska, Northern Canada, and more.
Starlink Roam plans are mostly for people who are out and about a lot and have time to set up camp and satellite equipment whenever they stop. It can successfully let you stream and work while you travel, but it’s not the most nimble portable internet setup. If you want something a bit lighter (and cheaper), check out satellite phones.
If you primarily need portable internet for emergency communications, not things like streaming, you might consider a satellite communicator. We recommend the Garmin inReach Mini 2 and accompanying service plan. It allows you to send messages (up to an unlimited amount, depending on your plan) from anywhere in the world, making it an excellent choice for staying safe in remote places.
Some iPhone models also offer satellite SOS features. This is okay for getting emergency help, but it’s not really a substitute for a true satellite phone.